Great Leaders are Readers: 4 Books Every Sales Professional Should Read

There are books that you read and talk about around the dinner table and there are books that can truly change your life and career. Any great leader can look back at their life and name a book or two that changed they way they think. Some books have lessons that stick with us for a few months while others have lessons that stick with us for the rest of our lives.

In sales, there have been hundreds and hundreds of books published about how to be more effective and how to be a better seller. From this infinite list of books and stories, we have identified four great books that we think are great reads for any sales professional today:

Hope is Not a Strategy: Six Keys to Winning the
Complex Sale (Rick Page)

The title of this book kind of says everything that needs to be said. Optimism is great but not implementing tactics to achieve success will leave you disappointed. This book is about closing deals and winning business with large corporations and complex organizations. It’s a must-read sales book for anyone seeking a sales strategy for teams that sell solutions to multiple buyers in competitive evaluations.

Top Quotes:

“Effective sales leaders constantly make deposits and build networks of people… You don’t actually keep score, but you must make deposits before you can make withdrawals.”

“People don’t decide how to decide until they can’t decide.”

What Great Sales People Do (Mike Bosworth)

Mike Bosworth is known as one of the best sales authors of all time. As we identified in our eBook, Relationships Matter, selling has evolved dramatically over the last few years and Mike’s thoughts continue to evolve with it. A key point delivered in this post is the importance of storytelling in sales. Mike explains that while logic and facts are necessary aspects of the sales/persuasion process, people are even more influenced through stories. Anyone who interacts with people as a part of their job should read this book. It’s a great one!

Top Quotes:

“We are all imperfect and we trust people more when they’re willing to be imperfect.”

“If you have only a few seconds to make a buyer curious, start with the why of your story.”

How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)

When people talk about books that have stood the test of time, this classic from Dale Carnegie usually is in the discussion. Published in 1937, this book could be on top 10 lists for virtually any personal and professional subject. The lessons shared in this book transcend from business into your day-to-day life and highlight key lessons that can help you navigate through your career. It’s sold over $15mm copies & you’ll probably never meet a leader in sales who hasn’t read it.

Top Quotes:

“Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.”

“Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Character is what you are – Reputation is what others think.”

The Challenger Sale (Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson)

One of the newer books on the list, this is a book that challenges traditional thinking. The authors focus on challenging their customers to think differently and embrace discomfort instead of focusing on being buddy-buddy to make a sale. The theories and strategies here are built on extensive research, which is rare in sales books. This is a must read for any sales professional looking to become a sales leader in this new age of selling.

Top Quotes:

“Customers are looking to suppliers to challenge their thinking and teach them something they don’t know.”

“Over half of customer loyalty is a result not of what you sell, but how you sell.”

What books have you read recently or in the past that have changed the way you do business?